FIDDLIN’ at the MANESS POTTERY & MUSIC BARN
The Maness Pottery & Music Barn is a “must-see-to-be-believed” attraction in Moore County, North Carolina. It is open every Tuesday night, all year long, and features Blue Grass, Country and Gospel “pickin’ and singin”.
When my daughter and her husband were visiting me last year we decided to check it out. We were not disappointed. We found the barn six miles west of Carthage...a mere 30 minutes from my home...but light-years away from my usual Tuesday night.
The first thing that we noticed were the haphazardly parked cars lining the street and people of all ages streaming into the large barn. Many of them carried violins, banjos and other musical instruments and a lot of the women were toting food. The click, click of some shoes told us that there were cloggers among them. We hadn’t been sure what to wear but we found that it didn’t matter. The dress code was eclectic and we fit right in.
The crowd was rowdy, friendly and welcoming.
There was no admission charge and we made our way to the large auditorium where we were actually lucky to get a seat. The show had already begun and a group was performing on the huge stage that spanned the front of the room. It was a trio of fiddlers and the average age seemed to be around 70 ! They were wonderful and stomped and played to the delight of the audience.
On either side of the row of chairs was a wide aisle and we soon saw why. People of all ages and genders would suddenly get up & start to dance...some of them clogging and others just doing what felt good to them. An older man approached me and asked if I wanted to dance and I did ! It just seemed the thing to do and it proved to be fun for me and for all those that cheered us on.
We were to learn that it was considered a great honor to play at Clyde Maness’ barn. Musical groups of all types performed there and often a well-known Country or Blue Grass star would show up unannounced. The night we were there I heard a cello rendition of “The House of the Rising Sun” that was outstanding.
As I looked around the room I realized that there were many people there who would never see a Broadway show, or, frankly, be able to afford one. They could care less. A basket had been passed for donations and people paid what they could afford. No one was left out and everyone had a wonderful time.
It was a night to be remembered and we were still filled with music as we made our way home...tired but happy and ready to do it again the next time they come for a visit.